The first battery-powered train of UK recently started trials on rail.
As known, electric locos have less energy cost, quieter, accelerate faster and surely more environmental-friendly.
On the other hand, electric locos need power lines on top of the rails, compatible with the power systems of locos. That means, electric locos need investment in infrastructure, and their routes are limited with the continuity of that power system. This is a problem especially in terminals which have lines without power lines. The bigger problem in international transports when crossing different infrastructures.
The battery-powered train is a very promising solution for all these problems. And Britain’s first battery-powered train has recently started on-track trials, retrofitting an Abellio Greater Anglia Class 379 unit with six battery rafts.
The project is being done with the cooperation of Network Rail (the infrastructure company of UK), Bombardier (train manufacturer), Abellio Greater Anglia (train operator), FutureRailway (research team) and Department for Transport of UK.
Several battery technologies have been tested including lithium iron magnesium and hot sodium nickel salt, and more are underway at Bombardier Mannheim facility.
These trials may end up with a revolutionary solution in railway technologies where cost-effective and sustainable transport by trains would be possible regardless of infrastructure capabilities.